Undergraduate Handbook - AMERICAN STUDIES.doc by zhaonedx


									                        AMERICAN STUDIES

                                     THE DEGREES AVAILABLE                                            

American Studies at Kent is an Area Studies degree with a disciplinary focus. Hence, if you are admitted to
the University to read American Studies you may choose between the following degree packages:
4 - Year Degree Programmes: American Studies (Literature) UCAS Code: T700 or American Studies
(History) UCAS Code: T701
3 - Year Degree Programme: in American Studies UCAS Code: T702.

You can find a ‘subject benchmark’ statement for Area Studies degrees on the web. This is a benchmark set
by a government agency called the QAA; it suggests the aims and objectives of our subject. You might find
it useful to consult this document if you are interested in the broad question of what an American Studies
degree is about: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/academicinfrastructure/benchmark/honours/areastudies.asp

The degree variants are as follows:

Four-year course

       AMERICAN STUDIES (HISTORY)                                                             
        UCAS Code T701

Building on the American history modules available in Part I, a student who is especially interested in
history is encouraged to take this variant of the degree.

       AMERICAN STUDIES (LITERATURE)                                                          
        UCAS Code T700

This degree provides an opportunity for those with a marked literary interest to study American Literature
within the larger context of a multi-disciplinary degree offering modules in American history, politics, art
and film.

Three-year course

        UCAS Code T702

This degree, recently introduced, allows students to follow an American Studies approach without a
distinct pathway.
                                            STAGE 1                                                       

In their first year, all students at Kent take the Stage 1 programme before moving on to their major area of
study in Stages 2 & 3. Although Stage 1 gives you the opportunity to sample subjects outside American
Studies, you are also expected to engage with your chosen area of study from the outset. You should refer to
the Stage 1 Handbook for details of core and non-core modules. The handbook is also available online at
Each student is required to take 120 credits – after the core elements of the course have been satisfied,
students can choose from any Humanities options. The core requirements for each strand are as follows:

Four-Year Degree
There are two pathways to the four year course: Literature or History. Please see the table relating to your
chosen pathway.

 Core Modules: You are required to take the following modules. This totals 75 credits.
                                               Year Long
 EN303 Introduction to American Studies                                                               30        C
 EN308 Romanticism and Critical Theory                                                                45        C
 It is recommended, but not compulsory, that you take the following 15 credits:
                      Autumn Term
 EN325      Critical Practice* See note            15     C
 Wild Modules: The remaining 30 to 45 credits may be taken from the Wild Modules.
 *Please be aware that if you wish to choose English modules in the later Stages of your degree, you are
 recommended to take EN325

HISTORY pathway
 Core Modules: You are required to take the following modules. This totals 60 credits.
                                               Year Long
 EN303 Introduction to American Studies                                                               30        C
                 Autumn Term                                             Spring Term
 HI390   The Emergence of America:           15 C HI391         The Rise of the United States         15        C
         From European Settlement to                            since 1880
 Wild Modules: The remaining 60 credits may be taken from Wild Modules.

Three-Year Degree
In the third year, students will have the opportunity to spend the Autumn term at one of our partner
institutions in the United States. The term abroad will be worth 60 credits. Students should be aware that
places at American universities are limited and that there will be a competitive process for students wishing
to select this option.

 Core Modules: You are required to take the following 30 credit module
                                               Year Long
 EN303 Introduction to American Studies                                                               30        C
 It is then recommended (but not compulsory) that you take at least 60 credits from the list of
 recommended Optional Modules below*

                                                  Year Long
 EN308      Romanticism and Critical Theory SEE NOTE1                                                    45        C
 HI300      Introduction to Literature and Science                                                       30        C
 HI360      Making History                                                                               30        C
                      Autumn Term                                              Spring Term
 FI310      Introduction to Narrative Cinema 30 C FI311               Introduction to Narrative          30        C
            1: American Cinema                                        Cinema 2: World Cinema
             ªSEE NOTE 2                                              ªSEE NOTE 2
 EN325      Critical Practice                   15 C HI391            The Rise of the United States      15        C
            SEE NOTE 1                                                since 1880
                                                        HA318          Now that is Art?: Aesthetics      15   C
 PO305      International History and           15 C HA319             and the Visual Arts               30   C
            International Relations
 HA320      Inner Worlds: Psychoanalytic        15 C
 HA321      Thinking and the Visual Arts        30
 HA314      The Shock of the Now: Themes        15 C
 HA315      in Contemporary Art                 30 C
 PO315      Introduction to Government          15 C
 HI390      The Emergence of America:           15 C
            From European Settlement to
     *If you do not wish to choose some or all of your remaining credits from the recommended options above, you
     may take Wild Modules
     ªadmission by quota
 NOTE 1: Please be aware that if you wish to choose English modules in later Stages of your degree, you must
 do EN308 in Stage 1. You are also recommended to take EN325
 NOTE 2: Please be aware that if you wish to choose Film modules in later Stages of your degree, you must do
 FI310 and FI311 in Stage 1.

                                    STAGES 2 & 3 Four Year Degree Courses                                     

The University of Kent has a long-established American Studies programme and helped to pioneer one of the
distinctive features of such programmes, namely a year abroad. You are expected to spend your third year at
an American university - between stages 2 and 3 of your degree - which constitutes one fifth of your final
mark (you will receive a separate booklet about the year abroad. During the second and fourth years spent at
Kent, as well as your chosen subject modules, you will write two extended essays, details of which can be
found later in this booklet. Modules are available as choices in all the degree variants in the second year
(provided some prerequisites have been met) covering, respectively, American History, Literature and Film.
In your overall degree you proceed from multidisciplinary to interdisciplinary work, which is emphasized in
the fourth year core course HI665 and the 4th year dissertation. We believe that such an approach gives
ample scope for your individual interests and commitment to the subject.

You should refer to the Stages 2 & 3 Handbook for details of module choices. The handbook is available
online at: https://www.kent.ac.uk/humanities/undergraduate/handbook/0910/index.htm
Students should take 120 credits each year. Undergraduate options vary from year to year, and some
modules can be taken off the list at short notice.

The tables below offer a rough guide to the course selections you will have over your degree, based on what
is available this year (2009-10).


Students reading American Studies (History) should take the following modules in the stage indicated:
Stage Two
 30 credits from the following module:
                                                     Year Long
 HI559      Single (Major) Discipline Extended Essay. Students’ choices will be by arrangement with          I   3
            supervisors: essay deadline is the beginning of the Summer Term.                                     0
 PLUS 60 credits from the following:
                        Autumn Term                                             Spring Term
 HI763      How the West was Won (or lost)               I   3   HI765     From Buffalo Bill to Bison        I   3
                                                             0             Burgers: The American West            0
                                                                           in the 20     Century
                                                                 HI795     Inviting Doomsday: US             I   3
                                                                           Environmental Problems in the         0
                                                                           Twentieth Century
                                                                 HI742     The Cold War, 1941 - 1991         I   3
 PLUS 30 credits from the following: *
 EN628      Early American Literature                    I   3   EN630     Modern American Literature        I   3
                                                             0                                                   0
                                                     Year Long
 PO617      Contemporary Politics and Government in the USA                                                  I   3
*A wild module from the Faculty of Humanities can be taken in place of one of these options (H or I Level)

Stage Three
 60 credits from the following two compulsory modules:
                                                     Year Long
 HI665      The American Century: The USA from 1970                                                 H   30
 HI560      Interdisciplinary Extended Essay. Commenced on return from the year abroad; to          H   30
            be handed in at the beginning of the Summer term and to arise from some
            element in the Bridge module (HI665).
 PLUS 60 Credits from the following American History Special Subjects
 HI5049/    California: The Golden State                                                            H   60
 ALTERNATIVELY these 60 credits may be taken from two of the following four modules, or one of these
 modules plus 30 credits from wild options offered by the Faculty of Humanities (H Level only).
                    Autumn Term                                          Spring Term

 HI764      How the West Was Won           H    30     HI796     Inviting Doomsday: US              H   30

            (or lost): The American                               Environmental Problems in the
            West in the 19 Century                                Twentieth Century

                                                       HI747      The Cold War                        H    30

                                                       HI766      From Buffalo Bill to Bison          H    30
                                                                  Burgers: The American West in
                                                                  the 20th Century


Stage Two
 90 credits from the following:
                                                      Year Long
  HI559     Single (Major) Discipline Extended Essay. Students’ choices will be by arrangement with                 H            30
            supervisors: essay deadline is the beginning of the Summer Term.
                    Autumn Term                                                 Spring Term
 EN628      Early American Literature     I      30     EN630     Modern American Literature                            I        3
 PLUS 30 credits from the following:*
 HI763      How the West Was Won          I      30     HI765     From Buffalo Bill to Bison Burgers: The               I        3
            (or lost): The American                               American West in the 20        Century                         0
            West in the 19 Century
                                                        HI795     Inviting Doomsday: US Environmental                   I        3
                                                                  Problems in the Twentieth Century                              0
                                                        HI742     The Cold War, 1941 - 1991                             I        3
                                                      Year Long
 PO617      Contemporary Politics and Government in the USA                                                         I        30
*A wild module from the Faculty of Humanities can be taken in place of one of these options (H or I Level)

Stage Three
 60 credits from the following two modules:
                                                      Year Long
 HI560               Interdisciplinary Extended Essay commenced on return from year abroad; to be               H           30
                     handed in at beginning of Summer term and to arise from some element in the
                     Bridge module (HI665).
 HI665               The American Century: The USA since 1970                                                   H           30
 PLUS 30 credits from a Special module in an American Literature topic (Consult school for advice) *

 PLUS 30 credits from wild options available from the Faculty of Humanities

 *Recommended Special modules:
 American Literature Special Module American Studies (Literature) students might be especially interested in:
 EN623     Native American Cultures: Texts and      H   3   EN588     Innovation & Experiment in New       H      30
           Contexts                                     0             York, 1945- 1995

                                    STAGES 2 & 3 Three Year Degree Courses                                    

A new BA (Hons) in American Studies (3 Year) was introduced at Kent in 2007 (the Centre for American
Studies dates back to 1973). There are a number of ideas behind this new degree:
    1. It allows you to complete an American Studies degree in 3 rather than the conventional 4 years
    2. It allows you to spend a term/semester at an American university, if desired, in your third and final
        year (or you can remain for all three years at Kent)
    3. Rather than being linked to one department/area of study (eg History or Literature), this degree gives
        you, the student, a wide range of choice over what modules to take over your three years. With
        modules available in Sociology, Drama, History, English, Politics, Film and Art, YOU can make the
        degree what you want. For further details and a list of modules available please look online at:

                                  ASSESSMENT AND EXAMINATION                               


The University uses a ‘credit framework’ for all its taught programmes of study. You should refer to the Part I
(Stage 1) and Part II (Stages 2 & 3) Handbooks for details of the credit framework system. The full Credit
Framework Regulations may be found on the University website at:

As you proceed from years one to three/four, you will be expected to achieve what is technically called
‘progression’, this means an overall improvement in your academic ability, the development of study skills
and new insights. You will find that each year of study is more challenging than the one before, encouraging
you to test your ideas, develop new ways of thinking and acquire a sophisticated ‘tool kit’ of critical analysis,
intellectual confidence, and skills of oral and written communication.

Marking Criteria (All years of study):

Written work
Marking will take account of the following aspects of your work:

    1.          Content, relevance, understanding
                How well and how fully the essay answers the question set; the relevance of the substantive
                material and argumentation; effective use of an appropriate mode of analysis.
    2.          Sources
                Appropriateness and quantity of sources, correct text citation; referencing, and bibliography.
    3.          Creative engagement
                Intelligent, imaginative and creative use of source material.
    4.          Presentation and technical quality
                Presentation: format, length, organisation, clarity, style and general fluency.
                Technical quality: spelling, grammar, punctuation, paragraphing, effective use of diagrams,
                tables and illustrative material, proof reading.
    5.          Inter/multi-disciplinarity when appropriate.
                This lies at the heart of the programme. In the first and final year required courses students
                will be expected to improve in this methodology, with guidance, on both exams and essays.

All written work will be judged against these criteria. Although the weight given to each may vary
according to specific requirements set out by the teacher, the largest proportion of marks will be given in
respect of 1, content, relevance and understanding. Make sure that your work is structured in such a way that
a sequence of paragraphs culminates in a logical conclusion, and remember to proof-read your work before
handing it in.

The overall mark indicates the following qualities:

70-100%      The work answers the question and shows a clear understanding of the complex nature of the
             topic. It offers an analysis, point of view, or opinion on the topic as well as deploying     the
             evidence collected in an organized manner. Marks in this category will be awarded to
             work which shows insight and perhaps originality of thought; it is characterised by
             involvement with the subject matter, breadth of appropriate reference, and conceptual and
             stylistic ability; it should reflect writing of outstanding merit on all assessment criteria.
60-69%       Marks in this range will reflect very good work which will be characterised by coherence
             and relevance, soundness of argument, appropriateness of reference, depth of background
             knowledge and discrimination.

50-59%       Marks in this range will reflect consistently solid work, honest application and satisfactory
             achievement without ever fully attaining the definition and clarity associated with higher grades.
             Some of the qualities of the upper category may be present, but work will tend either to rely too
             heavily on a limited range of secondary sources or confine itself to a narrow, predictable line of
             argument with a tendency to description, lack of proper focus, lack of analytical content or
             adequate knowledge, generalizations and a lack of wide reading.

40-49%       The work awarded this class is a simple narrative of events or relevant information abut the area
             of which the topic is part. It betrays little or no understanding of the points raised by the

Below 40% This work has serious flaws in research, evidence, presentation, and/or the other areas that
          comprise the basic elements of an essay.

Oral Presentation/Participation in Seminars: Marking Criteria

Marks may be awarded according to the following criteria. See your module convenor/departmental
handbooks for guidance on specific modules.

Students should:
1.      Attend regularly and prepare adequately
2.      Evaluate sources by commenting on their author, ideology, context, content, structure and argument
3.      Formulate clear and penetrating questions concerning the matter of each seminar
4.      Offer a concise critical or historical argument in the form of a presentation
5.      Listen to and respond constructively to the presentations of fellow students
6.      Work effectively within a group

The weight given to each criterion will vary according to the practice of each seminar leader.

Examinations: In all modules where there is an end-of-module examination, students should note that
examination papers are intended to relate to the whole syllabus for a module and students are advised that

examination questions may be set on any part of the syllabus and will not be closely modeled on the essay
questions set for the year in which they take the module.

                         ATTENDANCE AND ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS                                       

You should note that attendance at seminars is compulsory. If you have to be absent from class or miss a
class for good reason please let your seminar leader know as soon as possible. Many courses operate
penalties for non-attendance at class that will impact upon your final course grades.

An American Studies degree involves a significant amount of self-study. You should ensure you plan your
time wisely, write down your timetable (available from the web and the American Studies office) and heed
essay deadlines. To get the most out of each seminar you should commit to substantial study time – reading
the appropriate materials and considering questions set by the tutor or in the reading list.

The Templeman library provides an excellent guide to materials in the library for American Studies students.
You should collect one from the American Studies Office or from the library itself.
If you have any particular queries relating to American Studies materials talk to the Subject librarian Anna
Miller. Students should ensure they take a library induction tour to make the most of the holdings relating to
American Studies. This is arranged for Week 0 of the autumn term and first years on EN303 will take a tour
as part of the module.

You will be penalized if you fail to submit essays on time. The university operates a zero tolerance policy on
late submission of work. This means that many departments will award a mark of zero to any assignment
submitted late. If you have genuine difficulties with submitting on time, schools require you to fill out a
concessions form, and your case will be considered by an appropriate committee. Forms for American
Studies only courses (EN303, HI665, HI559, HI560) are available from the American Studies Office.
Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the conventions operating in the various schools of
study they interact with.

Essays for EN303 and HI665 should be handed in to the American Studies Office.
You should submit one copy to the American Studies office and one electronically by MOODLE
(instructions will be given in class)
Essays will be returned in seminars or will be available from the American Studies Office to collect.

For all other courses, please see conventions for handing in essays as set by home departments (eg History,

Study skills training is built into EN303 as an introduction to study at university and the discipline/s of
American Studies. Students will find that each of their modules involves a learning process that takes in a
range of disparate skills (training in the methodologies of different subjects, essay writing skills, learning to
deliver an oral presentation, critical analysis of texts and documents). If you have any questions about this
learning process please talk to your tutors. You will also find useful advice from the student support officers
in individual schools of study (eg History, Politics). These officers are accessible, well-trained and eager to
assist with any academic related queries. Many run drop-in sessions as well as training slots in essay writing,
exam technique etc, throughout the year. Details available from the administrative offices of the Schools.


As an American Studies student you will find yourself taking courses in a wide variety of disciplines, run by
different departments. This interdisciplinary study is what makes American Studies so refreshing, exciting
and innovative.

**Be aware of the different regulations/conventions applying to each module (each department may
well have different styles of writing, policies on deadlines, and guidelines on notation etc)**

Plagiarism is taken very seriously by the university and will not be accepted in any form. Read carefully the
statement on plagiarism in the humanities handbook as well as the American Studies Centre statement listed
below and make sure you understand what it means. If you have any questions, please ask. You should know
that ignorance of what constitutes plagiarism will not be considered an acceptable excuse should you be
charged with this offence. Also, be mindful that your seminar leaders have numerous means at their disposal
to detect plagiarism. To avoid potential problems, allow enough time during the essay planning, researching
and writing process. Make sure your notes distinguish between your words and the words of others. Always
use footnotes/endnotes to acknowledge academic sources.

Plagiarism is the act of presenting and/or repeating the ideas or discoveries of someone else as one's own. It
amounts to deception, is a major example of bad practice and has no place in any intellectual
community. A student must not reproduce in any work submitted for assessment (for example examination
answers, essays, seminar presentations, project reports, dissertations or theses) any material derived from
work authored by another without clearly acknowledging the source. To copy sentences, phrases or even
striking expressions without acknowledgement in a manner which may deceive the reader as to the
source is plagiarism; to paraphrase in a manner which may deceive the reader is likewise plagiarism.
Where such copying or close paraphrase has occurred, the mere mention of the source in a bibliography or
footnote - see note 2 below will not be deemed sufficient acknowledgement; in each such instance it must
be referred specifically to its source. Verbatim quotations must always be directly acknowledged, either in
inverted commas or by indenting. The University does not tolerate plagiarism and will impose severe
penalties if it occurs in coursework, dissertations, projects or written examinations. Students are reminded
that arguing there was no intent to plagiarize is not a valid defense to plagiarism. If you need guidance on
the correct use, presentation and acknowledgement of quotations and the correct citation of source material,
consult your tutor or your supervisor.

Never pass off someone else’s words or ideas as your own. Never cut and paste from the internet.
These are forms of plagiarism (cheating) and will be penalised.

Plagiarism may be committed in a number of ways, including:
     Copying another person's work or ideas. This includes copying from other students and from
        published or unpublished material such as books, internet sources, paper mills, computer code,
        designs or similar
     Submitting work solicited from (or written by) others
     A student must not reproduce in any work submitted for assessment (for example examination
        answers, essays, seminar presentations, project reports, dissertations or theses) any material derived
        from work authored by another without clearly acknowledging the source.
     To copy sentences, phrases or even striking expressions without acknowledgement in a manner
        which may deceive the reader as to the source is plagiarism;
     To paraphrase in a manner which may deceive the reader is likewise plagiarism.
     Where such copying or close paraphrase has occurred, the mere mention of the source in a
        bibliography or footnote will not be deemed sufficient acknowledgement; in each such instance it
        must be referred specifically to its source. Verbatim quotations must be directly acknowledged,
        either in inverted commas or by indenting.

Useful guidance on what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid plagiarism by acknowledging the work of
another can be found in the University’s Unit for the Enhancement of Learning & Teaching’s Student Guide
to Academic Integrity. http://www.kent.ac.uk/uelt/ai/students/index.htm under the headings ‘What is
plagiarism?’ and ‘What is referencing?’

The standard University regulations on plagiarism and duplication of material are in the Humanities Faculty
Handbooks: you should check these. Plagiarism will be subject to severe penalties including dismissal from
the University. Plagiarism identified in one piece of work can trigger investigation of all work done by the
student concerned.

The University does not tolerate plagiarism and will impose severe penalties if it occurs in coursework,
dissertations, projects or written examinations. If you feel that you need guidance on the correct use,
presentation and acknowledgement of quotations and the correct citation of source material, please consult
your tutor or your supervisor.

Continuous assessment in the form of all work set for example and problem-solving classes, supervisions
and seminars is a major part of the examination process and examination conventions will be applied to all
continuous assessment work. Students must note that measures are taken to detect the copying of coursework
and that severe penalties will be imposed on offenders. The crucial point, however, is that plagiarism is a
type of fraud, is grossly unjust to students whose work is honestly and independently produced, and
should not occur.
NOTE 1: Good practice means the scrupulous acknowledgement of sources, proper indication of direct
quotations and the provision of a full, accurate and honest bibliography. The more you take care (a) to use
your own words when you take notes and write up from them and (b) to note down where your information
comes from, the less likely you are to encounter problems in this area.
Bad practice includes disguised dependence upon a very narrow range of secondary sources (extensive
paraphrasing and no or few footnotes) and providing footnotes which embody a claim to have consulted an
original source when the material has in fact been derived from a secondary source. The penalty imposed in
such cases would be a mark of zero. Where substantial elements of bad practice recur throughout the relevant
piece of work, the penalty will be a severe one and may be a fail mark.

                 CENTRE FOR AMERICAN STUDIES – PEER MENTORING                                        

The peer mentoring programme in the Centre for American Studies is designed to perform two functions:
    1) 2nd year mentors will help new full-time students (this will include first years and direct entrants to
        Stage 2) settle into university life by providing signposting and assistance through peer mentoring.
    2) Final year mentors will help 2nd year students preparing for their year abroad by offering general
        support and advice as they plan and prepare for their time in the US. These mentors will also be
        available to 3rd year students in the US for general advice including returning to the UK.
Students, mentors and staff will benefit from the scheme which aims to enhance the experience of students
arriving at Kent and ease the transitions between UKC and the US and vice versa. Peer mentors are volunteer
undergraduates in their second or final year of study who will have undergone some training to help equip
them for their role. The programme will be administered by the Senior Tutor.

Peer Mentoring Aims
    To assist a smooth transition to the University by providing new students with the opportunity to
      meet with current students in the Centre for American Studies, during their first year.
    To enable students to plan and prepare for their year abroad effectively with the opportunity to
      discuss the pitfalls and problems previous YA students have faced.
    To provide mentors with the information and skills they need to help their fellow students settle in.
    To ensure that all students have a contact within the Centre who can provide them with information
      and assistance.

       To contribute to the development of a supportive environment where both new and current students
        experience a sense of belonging to the Centre.

Role of the Mentors
    To undergo training in order to prepare them for their role as Mentors
    To have a good knowledge of procedures within the Centre for American Studies.
    To man the Help Desk during Freshers week.
    To provide support and guidance for new students
    To contact their mentees before the beginning of term
    To arrange to meet their mentees in a group during the first few weeks of term
    To maintain regular contact with their mentees via their Kent email account
    To maintain confidentiality at all times unless there is a risk to well-being in which case Mentors
        will contact either the Senior Tutor.
    To keep a record of meetings and any problems they encounter and send in a report at the end of the
        academic year.
    To maintain contact with the Senior Tutor and other mentors.

Role of the students
    All students will be assigned a mentor and will be invited to meet with them during Freshers week
        and in the following weeks.
    Students are not obliged to make or maintain contact with their mentors but it is hoped that most
        students will meet with their mentors at least once.

                                         YEAR – SEMESTER ABROAD                      


As an American Studies student, the Year/Semester abroad offers the chance to explore the United States first
hand and to develop expertise in interdisciplinary study. We have some 15 exchange partner universities in the
United States and a well-developed international programme.

Information for first years:
First years should note that the grades achieved in the first year are taken into consideration when allotting
exchange placements. As of the 2008/9 first year intake, you are required to achieve an average of 55% in your
second year grades to proceed to the year/semester abroad. Failure to achieve this level means you will not go
to the United States.

Information for second years:
In the first term of the year, the Centre hosts a year abroad meeting where you will be introduced to the
programme and have the chance to meet returning fourth years. Thereafter, students complete a university
selection form, listing their top 5 favoured destinations and explain their choices. Questionnaires from returning
students (in the American Studies office) as well as the mentor scheme provides the chance to find out about
various institutions. Interviews will be arranged with the Director of the Centre and Hazel Lander from the
International Office in order to discuss your choices. Students should know their US destination by the end of the
autumn term. In the spring term, issues of visa/university application come to the fore. Students will also liaise
with the Director of Studies to select appropriate US modules.

Information for third years:

During the year/semester abroad we encourage you to keep in touch with your host institution and to also contact
staff here if problems are encountered. For those in the US for a year, module choices for the spring semester
require approval by the Director of Studies at the end of the first semester. Remember: The year/semester abroad
COUNTS towards your final degree.

Information for third/fourth years:
As you return to Kent from the US, you will be asked to fill out a year/semester abroad questionnaire and have
the chance to talk to second years about advice for the year/semester abroad as well as compare notes with your
peers. Please let us know on return if there are issues relating to the year/semester abroad that remain - eg debts
or failed courses.

For further information see: http://www.kent.ac.uk/amst/ya/year-abroad.html

                                            CENTRE STAFF                                                       

The teachers who make up the Centre for American Studies are specialists researching aspects of the United
States experience. Many have lived in the U.S. or have spent significant research time there. All maintain a
continuing commitment to sharing their enthusiasm for American-related subjects. Individuals involved in
the Centre are listed below – detailing their research interests, administrative roles for American Studies
(underlined), office hours and contact details.

Dr George R Conyne (away 2009-10)
Dr Conyne works on Anglo-American relations in the twentieth century and on constitutional history and
judicial interpretation of the American South. He is the author of British Perspectives on Woodrow Wilson
Email: G.R.Conyne@kent.ac.uk
Office Location: Rutherford W3.E1
Office Hours: To be confirmed
Phone: 7439

Dr Karen Jones
**Director of American Studies
Dr Karen Jones specializes in American History and Environmental History. Her main interests are the
American West; Montana; national parks; wildlife conservation and the environmental movement; and US-
Canadian comparative history. She is the author of Wolf Mountains and The Invention of the Park.
Email: K.R.Jones@kent.ac.uk
Office Location: Rutherford N4.W3

Office Hours: Wednesday 1-2pm, Thursday 2-3pm
Phone: 3406

Dr Emma Long
Emma is a specialist in US constitutional and legal history, especially religion and the Supreme Court. She
also works as an administrator in the History Office.
Email : E.J.Long@kent.ac.uk
Office Location : Rutherford N4.4
Office Hours: email for an appointment
Phone: 7339

Dr Will Pettigrew
Dr Pettigrew joins the university in autumn 2009. He specializes in 18thth century American political,
cultural and social history, with a special interest in slavery and the Atlantic world.
Email: W.Pettigrew@kent.ac.uk
Office Location: Rutherford N3.E4
Office Hours: To be confirmed
Phone: 4728

Dr John Wills
Admissions Officer/Convenor EN303
Dr Wills works in US environmental, cultural and visual history, with special interest in nuclear protest,
Disney, the 1950s and cyber-culture. He is the author of Conservation Fallout: Nuclear Protest at Diablo
Canyon, California.
Email: J.Wills@kent.ac.uk
Office Location: Rutherford N2.W2
Office Hours: Monday 3-5pm
Phone: 3243

Mr Henry Claridge
Convenor HI665, Chief Examiner, Senior tutor (Spring/Summer 2010)
Mr Claridge’s publications range from essays on pre-twentieth century literature, on Chicago and on the
novelist E L Doctorow, to four-volume collections of critical assessments of F Scott Fitzgerald and William
Email: G.H.Claridge@kent.ac.uk
Office Location: Rutherford Extension NC42
Office Hours: Monday 2-3pm, Friday 11am – 12noon.
Phone: 3358

Dr Will Norman
Dr Norman’s research interests centre on Nabokov and émigré literature in the USA. He also has an interest
in American crime fiction.
Email: W.Norman@kent.ac.uk
Office Location: Rutherford Extension NC38
Office Hours: Thursday 2-3pm, Friday 11am – 12noon.
Phone: 3975
Dr David Stirrup
Senior Tutor (autumn 2009)
Dr Stirrup’s research interests are Native American Cultures; 20th Century Native American writing;
intersections between Anthropology and Ethnography and indigenous forms of cultural production including

Art, Film, Photography, and Writing; 19th and 20th century American Literature. His publications include:
Edited Anthology of Writings on Native American Verbal Expression (2005).
Email: D.F.Stirrup@kent.ac.uk
Office Location: Rutherford Extension NC40
Office Hours: Monday 3-5
Phone: 3440

Dr Andrew Wroe
Dr Wroe’s research interests include the politics and process of direct democracy; social inclusion and
exclusion; immigration and race/ethnicity in the U.S. Current research focuses on why Americans don’t trust
government, with particular emphasis on the roles of the modern labour market and workplace structures.
He published (with David McKay & David Houghton) Controversies in American Politics and Society
(2002), and is completing a manuscript on the backlash against illegal immigrants in America.
Email: A.J.Wroe@kent.ac.uk
Office Location: Rutherford N3.E5
Office Hours: Autumn Term – Wednesday 11am – 12noon, Friday 9.30 – 10.30am
Phone: 3586

Dr Ruth Blakeley
Dr Blakeley's research interests include US foreign and security policy, US-Latin American relations,
terrorism studies, and human rights. Ruth is currently working on a monograph to be published by Routledge
as part of the Critical Terrorism Studies series, entitled: State Terrorism in the Global South: Foreign Policy,
Neoliberalism and Human Rights, (forthcoming, 2009).
E-mail: R.J.Blakeley@kent.ac.uk
Office Location: Rutherford N4.E2
Office Hours: Autumn Term Study Leave. Spring Term Tuesday 11.30am-12.30pm, Thursday 3.30-4.30pm
Phone: 4506

Dr William Rowlandson
Dr Rowlandson's research interests focus on the reception outside of Cuba of visual and textual
representations of the Cuban Revolution and the revolutionary era. His most recent publication is Reading
Lezama’s Paradiso (2007).
Email: W.Rowlandson@kent.ac.uk
Office Location: Cornwallis CNW216
Office Hours: To be confirmed
Phone: 4717

Dr Natalia Sobrevilla Perea
Dr Sobrevilla Perea's research interests include state formation and political culture in the Andes from the
end of the colonial period throughout the nineteenth century as well as issues of race and ethnicity and
military culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in South America.
Email: N.Sobrevilla@kent.ac.uk
Office Location: Cornwallis CNW214
Office Hours: To be confirmed
Phone: 7547

Dr Peter Stanfield
Dr Stanfield's primary area of interest is in the cultural history of American film. Current research is
concentrated on and around the film criticism of Lawrence Alloway, American underground cinema of the
late 1950s, the film adaptations of Mickey Spillane, Samuel Fuller at the Edinburgh film festival, pulp film
and the avant-garde, and 'Baby Face Nelson' and the 1950s retro-gangster cycle. Peter's publications include
Body & Soul: Jazz and Blues in American Film, 1927-1963 (2005), and Horse Opera: The Strange History
of the Singing Cowboy (2002).
Email: P.Stanfield@kent.ac.uk
Office Location: Rutherford
Office Hours: Wednesday 9-10am, Thursday 9-10am
Phone: 7422

Dr Tamar Jeffers McDonald
Dr Jeffers McDonald's research interests centre on three main areas: romantic comedy; the expressionist
potential of film costume; and film performances of sexuality, especially virginity. All these interests
coalesce in the star persona of Doris Day. Tamer is currently finishing Hollywood Catwalk: Reading
Costume and Transformation in Mainstream Film (I.B. Tauris, forthcoming 2008).
Email: T.Jeffers-McDonald@kent.ac.uk
Office Location: Rutherford
Office Hours: Tuesday 12-1.30pm
Phone: 3435

Claire Taylor, Rutherford N3.S1. phone: 3140, Email: C.L.Taylor@kent.ac.uk.
Office hours: Monday, Thursday, Friday 9am – 5pm. Wednesday 9am – 4pm.

Hazel Lander Registry 155, phone: 7994, Email: H.Lander@kent.ac.uk
(for enquiries about the Year/Semester Abroad)

NOTICEBOARD: The American Studies notice board is located outside the Centre’s office. Here you will
find timetables, module lists and other relevant information.

EMAIL: Please note that email is often used as a form of communication over modules and teaching. If
you are new to the University, on arrival you will be given an email address and instructions on how to set it
up. There are numerous computer terminals on campus for student use. Members of the Centre all use email
and you will find their addresses listed on the Centre staff pages in this booklet. Please get into the habit of
checking your email regularly. This is especially important in the second and third years of the programme.

American Studies have various staff members who deal with specific issues that you can rely upon for

Claire Taylor is the American Studies secretary who works in the American Studies Centre office and can
help with most queries

We have a Senior Tutor, David Stirrup/Henry Claridge. You should contact them if you have questions
about the degree, your individual progress or personal problems.

For questions relating to module choices/changes you should contact Claire Taylor

Karen Jones and David Stirrup can also advise you on your Year/Semester Abroad.

Issues relating to examinations should be addressed to the Chief Examiner, Henry Claridge.

Those interested in postgraduate study should speak to Karen Jones, Director of Graduate Studies.

The Director of American Studies, Karen Jones, can be contacted for general academic guidance and matters
relating to the American Studies programme.

All academics should have timetabled office hours (posted on their doors, listed above and in the American
Studies office) when you can talk to them about your studies. If you are having problems with a particular
course, please use this avenue of approach or make contact with the seminar leader.

The university has other agencies for helping students with their academic studies and with pastoral
difficulties. Claire Taylor in the American Studies office holds details of who you should contact. You
might find the following listings useful at some point during your time here:

Unit for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (UELT)

Provides guidance and information on all aspects of learning and teaching, including workshops, individual
help and learning support.
Location: Between the banking complex and Grimond building
Telephone: extension 4016 or direct line 01227 824016
Email: learning@kent.ac.uk               Website: http://www.kent.ac.uk/uelt

Counselling Service

Provides free and confidential support.
Location: C2.4, Darwin College
Telephone: extension 3206 or direct line 01227 823206
Email: counselling@kent.ac.uk Website: http://www.kent.ac.uk/counselling

Medical Centre

Location: Giles Lane, Canterbury (2 minutes walk from Keynes College)
Telephone: extension 3583 or direct line 01227 823583 during office hours.
Telephone for out of hours emergency: 01227 823583
Email: mcentre@nhs.net
Website: http://www.kent.ac.uk/medical/

Careers Advisory Service

Location: entrance to Keynes driveway
Telephone: extension 3299
Email: careerhelp@kent.ac.uk or pop in to make an appointment with an individual advisor
Website: http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/

Disability Support Unit

Location: Go into Keynes main entrance, through the double doors in front of you. Keep the duckpond on
your left and we’re straight ahead – Rooms Hg7-9.
Telephone: extension 3158
Email: Inclusive_Learning@kent.ac.uk
Website: http://www.kent.ac.uk/ddss/

Kent Union

Location: Mandela Building (located next to the Venue)
Telephone: extension 4200
Email: union@kent.ac.uk
Website: http://www.kentunion.co.uk

Student Records Office

Location: Located in the Registry Building.
Telephone: 01227 764000
Email: sturec@kent.ac.uk
Website: http://www.kent.ac.uk/registry/student-records

Campus Watch

Location: Located in the Banking Hall, near all the banks
Telephone: Emergencies – extension 3333
Campus Watch Security – extension 3300

The compulsory American Studies modules are described in the pages that follow.

                                        First Year                                      


Convenor: Dr John Wills

Relationship to Other Modules
This module is taken by all first-year American Studies students.

*Please collect a reading list and a course booklet in the autumn and spring term, from the American Studies

Aims and Objectives
This module offers students a chance to take initial bearings on numerous aspects of American history,
politics, literature and popular culture. It seeks to establish a broad overview of US life and a base from
which students can proceed to Stage 2 modules at Kent and in the United States. The emphasis is
interdisciplinary, or an "area studies" approach. Students will be encouraged to cross disciplinary lines, and
build a descriptive and analytical vocabulary. Study skills sessions are also included in the module.

Module outline
30 credits, Periods 1 & 2

Short Bibliography
Malcolm Bradbury & Howard Temperley (eds) Introduction To American Studies (3rd ed., rev.)(to
Marcus Cunliffe            The Literature of The United States
Douglas Tallack            Twentieth Century America
Maldwyn A. Jones           The Limits of Liberty
Alexis de Tocqueville      Democracy in America
Mick Gidley (ed)           Modern American Culture

Teaching and Assessment Methods
Teaching is by a weekly lecture and a related seminar. Seminars will be based on readings assigned to
particular weeks/topics. The lectures will be given by various members of the American Studies Centre.
Assessment: 75% coursework, 25% final examination.

                                          Second/Final Years                                      


Convenor:       Supervisor by allocation

Relationship to other modules
Compulsory for all American Studies students (3 and 4 year degrees)

Aims and Objectives
The second and final year extended essays are central parts of your American Studies work.
The second year essay is intended to be a single discipline essay – it can be based in literature, history,
visual art or film. The emphasis here is on planning to write a sustained, coherent long essay. You are
encouraged to be creative and enterprising in your choice of subject, and you can talk about your plans with
your supervisor or any member of the Centre. Four year degree students should focus on the discipline that
is their pathway (English or History). Three year degree students can select any one discipline.
In the final year you have the benefit of a semester/year’s education in the United States. You will now be
in a position to weave together the different disciplines that make up American Studies. Those students who
spend a year/semester in the United States are strongly encouraged to use this time in the United States to
develop a topic and collect primary sources. The emphasis on the final year extended essay is on an
interdisciplinary approach - that is, you should bring together at least 2 different methodologies which focus
on your chosen topic. Having written the second year essay, you should be able to handle a long, extended
argument. This is a more research-led project, where you will use primary sources, archival material and
internet resources in order to write an essay which goes beyond the standard secondary summaries of your
topic. In other words, the second year essay is an extended version of the kinds of essay you will already
have written. The final year essay is, however, a more ambitious piece of work, where research beyond
the standard textbooks is vital.

Teaching and Assessment Methods
You should first submit a brief statement giving the general idea of the essay, using the form at the back of
this booklet. You should have some preliminary discussion with a member of the academic staff regarding
the choice of subject. Your essay plan must be given in to the American Studies Office, by no later than
THE FIRST WORKING DAY IN NOVEMBER. This will enable us to assign supervisors in the
following two weeks and a complete list of these will be posted outside the American Studies Office. Please
see your supervisor as soon as possible thereafter, who will approve your essay plan and seek to guide you
about the research and direction of the essay. You should attend at least 3 such meetings, but it is your
responsibility to request these meetings, not the supervisor’s. If these requirements are not fulfilled, or your
work is unsatisfactory, the American Studies Centre will report this fact to your tutor and Faculty Office.
Please note that you cannot expect feedback from your supervisors after the end of the Spring term.
The essay must be about 7000 words in length, excluding footnotes and bibliography. Standard academic
conventions for the presentation of scholarly material must be followed (a "style-sheet" covering this will be
issued in the autumn term. Karen Jones will host a meeting launching the dissertation early in the autumn
term, where you will be invited to ask any questions. There will be a workshop in the Spring term to check
on progress and answer any queries.

Two copies of the essay must be submitted no later than 5pm, Friday of week 25, to the American
Studies Office, Rutherford College. You will be issued with a receipt which you must retain. You must
also retain a third copy of the final version for yourself. Try to plan ahead with this essay as you will not
want to find yourself in difficulties with other essay-requirements and deadlines towards Week 25. If there

are questions or difficulties, do not hesitate to get in touch with any member of the Centre staff as early as

                                          AMERICAN STUDIES

                              SECOND/FINAL YEAR EXTENDED ESSAY

Name: …………………………………………………………………………………...

Email: …………………………………………………………………………………...

Year Of Study …………………………………………………………………………..

College: ………………………………………………………………………………...

Proposed Title/Area/Theme:

Have you discussed this with a possible supervisor? (if so, with whom?):

Brief Outline of Proposed Subject (Attach a copy of the outline if you prefer)

If you wish to discuss your choice of subject please contact The American Studies secretary in the first
instance and return this form to the American Studies Office, N3 S1, Rutherford, NO LATER THAN THE

           HI665 THE AMERICAN CENTURY? THE USA SINCE 1970                                                

Convenor: Mr Henry Claridge

Relationship to Other Modules
The module is available only to fourth-year and three year students who are not taking a semester abroad. As
such, no single other module acts as a prerequisite; rather, a student must simply have progressed to the final
year of the degree programme in any of its variants.

Aims and Objectives
 To introduce students to a range of key social, political and cultural issues in recent years of U.S. history.
 To encourage students to see the connections and intersections between history, cinema, literature, art
   and politics, thereby creating an interdisciplinary understanding of the subject.
 To encourage students to think critically about a range of historical documents, literary texts, visual and
   filmic material.
 To provide an intellectual context in which students can pursue their own research for the American
   Studies long essay.
 Students will acquire an informed understanding of late 20th-century and early 21st century U.S.
 Students will develop an inter-disciplinary methodology, combining different intellectual approaches to
   form an ‘American Studies’ critique of recent U.S. history.
 Students will learn to present in written form and in seminar presentations the fruits of their critical
   reading, and to argue a point of view with cogency and clarity. They should thereby emerge as more
   discriminating readers and articulate critics.

Module outline
30 credits, Periods 1 & 2

At the start of the twenty-first century the United States is the world’s only superpower. Its culture is
becoming our global culture; its society excites both fear and fascination. This bridge course examines the
United States from the late ‘sixties to the present in terms of historical and political developments, and also
in terms of the major literary works and visual culture which reflect the times. As well as general themes
which show how the country developed internally and vis-à-vis the rest of the world, topics such as the
changing South, the urban United States, American women and the position of minorities will be examined.
The course will use an exciting variety of materials from cultural and historical sources to create an
interdisciplinary analysis of the era.

Short Bibliography
Tom Wolfe                                The Painted Word
Tom Wolfe                                A Man in Full
W.H. Chafe & H. Sitkoff (eds)            A History of Our Time
John Edgar Wideman                       Fatheralong
Katherine Graham                         Personal History
John Updike                              Rabbit is Rich

Teaching and Assessment Methods
Teaching is by weekly lecture and seminar, as well as a programme of film screenings.

Students will produce written work amounting to 6,000 words, normally in the form of THREE essays.
These will constitute 30% of the final mark for the module with oral performance scoring 10% and the
examination 60% (three-hour examination in Summer Term). Further programme details and essay
deadlines are in the full programme (issued by the American Studies Office).


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